Freaks are people, too!

I.J. Samson Junior High
St. John's, Newfoundland

By Krista B. (Grade 9)

It is the twentieth century, and people have become more open-minded and liberated; however, society tends to frown upon those who are different or "freaky". The dictionary definition of a freak is: someone who is unusual or odd. Society often classifies people into groups. Freaks are one of those groups. Society's definition of a freak is someone who has multi-colored hair, green, blue or red, pierced body parts and unusual clothing. Many judge freaks based on their appearance. Some people think they're into drugs, sex, and alcohol. So, I decided to do some research and ask my friends about their views on this topic.

My friend, B.J, was quite willing to help me. He is the textbook definition of a freak. B.J has long hair, dyed pink, purple and blond, and he dresses in big baggy clothing. To me, B.J is just a normal person but, to others, he is diverse, strange, and an outcast to society. I asked him what kind of reactions people gave him. "Mostly gawks and stares, sometimes even rude comments. One time I was walking downtown and these people had a video camera-they were just tourists from a small town, I guess. Anyway, they saw me walking in their direction and had the camera just fixated on me. As I walked by, all I could hear was laughter. I guess they never saw anyone with coloured hair before. It didn't really bother me, though."

I asked him if he found this as a type of discrimination. "No", he said, "I think it's ignorance not discrimination. But what really bothers me is what people's parents think of me. Some think that I'm a bad influence because of the colour of my hair. They think that I drink and smoke dope all day. I don't even smoke cigarettes let alone dope; I'm completely straight-edge."

To further my quest for freaks I decided to go downtown. I saw an array of different hair colours, styles, and freaky make-up. I spotted a few friends of mine and asked them why they dress as they do. Kari spoke up and said, "Because it's comfortable." Kari is dressed in baggy blue jeans and one of her father's old shirts. Her hair is blonde and purple, with two buns on the side, and two bright purple braids framing her face. "The way I dress is not for attention. The way I dress expresses who I am, a unique individual. People tend to be too conservative. I think people need to loosen up and be themselves."

I asked her if it bothered her being called a freak. "No, I don't mind. Everybody in the world is put into groups: freak, scully, skeet, jock and prep. I just fall into the freak category."

I agree with Kari and B.J. People dress according to their taste and personality. Society needs to realize that freaks are people too! People need to treat others with the respect no matter what they look like; freak or no freak.

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